If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Welfare groups’ lobbying prevents pig farm growth
RELENTLESS lobbying from welfare and vegan pressure groups geared towards criticising British pig-keepers’ already high welfare standards is preventing growth and expansion, stifling innovation and promoting a return to peasant farming, says National Pig Association (NPA) general manager Zoe Davies in her recently-published Nuffield paper, Movers and Shakers in Global Pig Production.
Dr Davies said: “It is right that the pig industry continues to improve welfare, to be more environmentally sustainable, but in order to do that we need to be able to move with the times, embrace new technologies and — dare I say it — be allowed to run profitable businesses.
“A great disconnect has emerged between consumers and farmers and some groups take advantage of this to spread scaremongering propaganda.
“Improvements in connectivity and the increasing popularity of social media have made it much easier for consumers to have a say, even if they don’t really understand what they are fighting for. This has unfortunately led to plenty of knee-jerk policymaking, which often makes the situation worse for the British pig and it is something we need to be able to tackle and prevent, certainly better than we do at present.”
Dr Davies used her Nuffield Scholarship to visit the world’s major pig-producing countries to see what the British pig sector can learn from the way they operate and, in particular, the way they get their messages across to consumers and politicians.
She said: “As a small lobby organisation with limited resources, it is vital that NPA represents and promotes our industry to best effect and ensures our members have a future doing what they love best: raising pigs and producing tasty British pork.”